Causes of Birth Injuries
In most cases the initial cause of a Birth Injury will never be known. There are known risk factors that can indicate the likelihood for Cerebral Palsy (CP) but they do not point to specific causes.
Most conditions are caused by brain injury that occurred during pregnancy or birth, (congenital) or in the months/years following birth. (Acquired). Cerebral Palsy disorders are caused by faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and posture. A variety of conditions can lead to brain injury, including:
- Genetic conditions and problems with the blood supply to the brain can effect how the brain of the child develops during the first six months of pregnancy;
- Oxygen shortage. If the oxygen supply to the brain is severely low at the time of birth the infant may suffer a type of brain damage called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. (HIE).
- Rh incompatibility. A blood condition that causes the mother’s immune cells to attack the fetus resulting in jaundice.
- Ten to fifteen percent of cerebral palsy cases are caused by a recognized brain injury, such as infection (meningitis), bleeding into the brain and damage caused by lack of oxygen
- Some of the errors made by health care professionals during delivery can include:
- The failure to recognize and treat seizures following delivery.
- Failure to order a C-section in a timely manner.
- Excessive use of a vacuum extractor.
- Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord reducing oxygen supply,
- Improper use of delivery forceps.
- Hospital staff may not properly read or respond to the baby’s vital signs.
- Failure to recognize fetal distress.
- The use of resuscitation (CPR) after birth.
- Special testing after birth such as an MRI scan, CT scan or brain scan.
If you have a questions about your child or suspect his or her condition may be the result of medical malpractice, please give us a call. We will take the time to listen to your concerns and advise you as to the best course of action to address your concerns.